Before I answer this question, I should answer another question first- What inspired me to write this post? The other day I was having a discussion with my Father when I subconsciously asked him about ‘the type of Businessmen’ in this world. I had a doubt about Businesses and their motives when I asked him this- Why is that there are local businesses running well over 200-300 crores but are not very famous or well known? On the other hand why we have some Entrepreneurs who sold there businesses for some crores but are really well known and sought after (especially by Startups like us)? Well, his answer was simple but it fuelled a new thought in my mind. This is what he said to me-
There are 3 types of businessmen in this World-
- Those who are intellectually famous but financially not so affluent (not having a 200-300 crore business),
- Those who are financially very affluent but are intellectually weak (not having an influential friend network)
- Those who are both intellectually strong and financially famous (Azim Premji and Anand Mahindra types).
This simple answer made me think- If that’s the case then what makes a wannabe entrepreneur choose from the above 3 options? And more importantly, what should I aspire to be? Is fame important to me or is it money? Or Both? Anyone like me can easily opt number 3 from above if asked to choose, but what does that mean- is it that simple? And don’t you think that everyone who becomes point number 1 would aspire to achieve 3?
I knew that the answer to this should not be very complex, and finally I got it- it’s all about the inspiration! Inspiration is what drives aspirations.
At this stage I want my startup to be successful, to be known by people and to be appreciated by customers- i.e. I’m aspiring to achieve fame. I don’t know about money and frankly speaking I don’t care about it right now but what happens when I will manage to generate revenues? More money will lead to another inspiration and then it will go on and on.
Let’s try to understand what happens when people choose to quit from point 1 itself and don’t want to reach point 3. Most of the people whom startups interact with are from league number 1, and that answers our question. If one is intellectually smart (and financially stable) there are two options available to him/her- either choose to help others (interact real-time) with their intellectual ability (effective network) or choose to keep the business growing while helping the society indirectly. Both would give similar mental satisfaction to an entrepreneur who wishes to spread his knowledge/wisdom/fame and wants to help the society directly or indirectly.
So what it takes to become likes of Azim Premji and Narayan Murthy? Again I’d say inspiration. If your business is like you can sell it after 5-6 years of operations then there is no inspiration in creating a company worth a thousand crore. Most of the creative ideas are not that scalable because of the saturated and open market conditions these days. Hence when an idea reaches a stage where it can no longer compete with bigger birds, the inspiration to make it worth a thousand crore dies. But that, off course is not bad ;).
Intellectual and creative people can find ways to start another business- they just need another inspiration to start one. Sometimes they start another and sometimes they choose to invest in others ;). What say?